Grinding teeth is a habit that affects many people at certain times in their lives or throughout many years. Sometimes referred to as bruxism, it is closely related to stress and depending on stress levels it can get better or worse. Unfortunately nothing can be done to stop the habit, but a simple plastic appliance can prevent the damage to teeth and joints if worn at night while sleeping. These appliances are known as occlusal guards, since they protect the teeth/occlusion. Since these appliances are being worn at night people refer to them as night guards. The appliance usually lasts many years before it gets worn out or breaks and needs to be replaced by a new one. Not to be confused with sports mouth guards, these are not intended for activity as much as sleeping, when tooth grinding occurs unbeknownst to you.
Occlusal guards are a lot cheaper and less painful than a broken tooth. If you wake up in the morning with consistent jaw pain, start feeling loose teeth, or have consistent pain in your gums, visit Westtown Dental Care and we will be able to tell you if a Occlusal Guard is right for you.
Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down your teeth, cause jaw pain, and irritate your gums. In more extreme cases noise from teeth grinding can disturb your spouse’s sleep. This is a very common, treatable condition that can lead to more damage over time if left untreated. The structure of your entire mouth can change under consistent pressure and grinding, leading to problems elsewhere that are very hard to predict. The guards help your jaw and teeth relax while you sleep, preventing further damage.